5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending March 17

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week are a pair of rule-breaking U.K. solution providers that found themselves getting thrown out of Dell EMC's partner program.

Also making the list this week were Dun & Bradstreet for a wayward database of business contact data, Microsoft for service problems with its Azure public cloud, Juniper for losing a key executive to rival Cisco, and some Nexus 6 owners who found themselves wrestling with a confusing Android change.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Two U.K. Solution Providers Booted Out Of Dell EMC's Partner Program

It was a bad week for two solution providers in the U.K. who were kicked out of the Dell EMC partner program after they repeatedly violated the company's zero-tolerance policy on deal registration.

A Dell spokesman said the two solution providers had repeatedly broken deal registration rules by either selling into the gray market or registering deals for one customer and selling Dell products to another customer for whom they knew they would not be able to register a deal.

Dell did not identify the two solution providers.

Microsoft Blames Storage Availability Issues For Azure Cloud Outage

Microsoft's Azure public cloud was plagued with service issues Wednesday, disrupting service to customers in the eastern U.S. for more than eight hours.

Microsoft said a storage cluster lost power and became unavailable, leading to "storage availability" issues that lasted from 5:50 p.m. EDT on March 15 until 2:00 a.m. March 16.

The Microsoft Azure problems came just two weeks after a massive Amazon Web Services outage disrupted websites, online applications and Internet services around the world. Both incidents have put the spotlight on the potential dangers of over-reliance on public cloud providers.

Dun & Bradstreet Deals With Fallout From Database Leak

Some 33.7 million email addresses and other contact information were exposed in a reported leak of a 52-GB database owned by Dun & Bradstreet. The incident is putting the spotlight on the risks posed by third-party companies that purchase and utilize such databases.

The database is the type sold by D&B to other companies for marketing purposes. Independent cyber researcher Troy Hunt reported that the database was sent to him. Dun & Bradstreet has insisted that its own systems were not compromised and it's not clear how the database was exposed and circulated.

Along with the email addresses, the database included names, job titles and functions, phone numbers and other corporate information on employees at AT&T, Boeing, Dell, FedEx, IBM and Xerox, among others, as well as on employees at some government agencies.

Juniper Loses Top Technologist To Rival Cisco

Jonathan Davidson, who has led Juniper Networks' development efforts for seven years, has left to take a job at Juniper rival Cisco Systems, CRN reported this week.

Davidson is joining Cisco's Service Provider business unit – and the company's senior leadership team – as senior vice president and general manager of Service Provider Networking. At Juniper he held a number of top executive posts since 2010, most recently executive vice president and general manager of development and innovation.

Solution providers said Cisco's ability to recruit Davidson was a validation of the company's vision and technology roadmap.

Google Android Downgrade Has Nexus 6 Owners Scratching Their Heads

Google scrambled to mollify some angry Nexus 6 owners this week after the company sent out an "over the air" downgrade of the Android operating system that created problems with the mobile phones, according to published reports on The Register, Technobuffalo and other sites.

Earlier this year Google rolled out the 7.1.1 release of Android for the Nexus. But this week, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, Google issued an over the air (OTA) update that rolled the phones back to the 7.0 release, the first Nougat release, for the phone.

Google said the change was necessary to guarantee future OTA updates. But the change created headaches for Nexus 6 users who turned to Reddit and other sites to complain that their phones had crashed or that third-party applications that were written for Android 7.1.1 no longer worked.